How Effective Are Military Academy Admission Standards
RAND National Defense Research Institute Santa Monica United States
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The U.S. Air Force Academy USAFA, the U.S. Military Academy USMA, and the U.S. Naval Academy USNA provide undergraduate education and training for students who will become commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. Like all institutions of higher education, military academies rely on a set of admission criteria, but beyond that, they are particularly concerned about the outcomes of those admitted, because the goal is for those who graduate to move on and become successful as commissioned officers. RAND was asked to examine admission standards at these academies to see whether they were enrolling individuals who would both graduate and become successful officers, but the USNA chose not to participate. Thus, this brief summarizes the results of analyses of the applicant scoring systems that USAFA and USMA use for admission.